Second Amendment Advocates Should Reject DOJ ‘Bump Stock’ Infringement

Jeff Sessions enjoys a warm reception as he tells everyone at the NRA-ILA Leadership forum what a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment he is. (YouTube screen capture)

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “The Department of Justice (Department) proposes to amend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives regulations to clarify that ‘bump fire’ stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics (bump-stock-type devices) are ‘machineguns’ as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” a rulemaking proposal posted to the Federal Register Thursday declares.

We’ve been down this path before, and recently, submitting comments on an earlier “advance” proposal. It’s clear that opposition from gun owners did not faze those pushing for more citizen disarmament edicts. That’s because the proposed ban has the blessings of the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, and thanks to their green lights, no shortage of “Republicans,” including President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The urge to preemptively surrender among the establishment types is strong.  They seem to be operating under the illusion that throwing a sop to those who have made no secret of wanting it all is somehow the smart play.  Their apologists tell us it’s three dimensional chess, but with “concessions” on “Fix NICS,” ERPOs, mental health blanket dragnets and “bump stocks,” it might be fair to start wondering who they’re playing against.

That said, and since it looks like the fix is in, it may also be fair to wonder what good it will do to comment on this latest iteration of the proposed rule on “rate-enhancing devices.” There are several reasons to go ahead and submit a comment in spite of such misgivings, not the least of which is it’s the right thing to do.

The first step is to know what is being proposed, something you’d think all gun owners interested in protecting their rights would demand to know anyway.

It’s interesting to see the government admits “most” comments (how many?) from the initial review “contend the Department lacks such authority, either because only Congress has the authority to regulate bump-stock-type devices, or because the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution precludes any federal regulation of such devices.”

It’s the latter, of course, which any honest reading of founding intent would confirm. I’ll presume to be in the minority on that, including my opinion that NFA ’34. GCA ’68, the Brady Act, the Hughes Amendment, and all the other citizen disarmament edicts are Intolerable Acts that must be destroyed if Americans ever decide to get serious about freedom.

I’ll stipulate that such a view is unlikely to be persuasive to those who aren’t compelled to back off with consequences if they don't. So even though ATF has anticipated (and rejected) the argument about Congressional authority, it appears to be the likely legal strategy after the rule is adopted.

There’s one other argument to make that’s more basic, and extends beyond guns and accessories, and goes to the heart of what it means to be an American. That's in response to:

“The Department has determined…there is no way by which the possessor may register a firearm retroactively, including a firearm that has been reclassified … Further, U.S.C. 922(o) prohibits the possession of machineguns that were not lawfully possessed before the effective date of the statute. Accordingly, if the final rule is consistent with this [notice], current possessors of bump-stock-type devices will be obligated to dispose of these devices. A final rule will provide specific information about acceptable methods of disposal, as well as the timeframe under which disposal must be accomplished to avoid violating 18 U.S.C 922(o).”

These are non-negotiable terms of surrender, dictated by a “pro-gun” president, a “pro-gun” attorney general, and enabled by our “gun rights leaders.”

Obey or be destroyed. Or as men standing on a green were reportedly ordered:

“Throw down your arms, ye villains, ye Rebels, Disperse!”

Nobody really thought this was just about “bump stocks,” did they?

If Trump and Sessions can get away with this naked, weasel-worded usurpation, guess what the Democrats will be able to pull, especially if enough feckless Republicans take the fire out of their core supporter’s bellies and majorities flip.

The comment period ends after 90 days on June 27.

You can submit yours here.

UPDATE: Some have reported getting a “comments closed” message as shown here.  I have messaged the Federal Register and will advise if I hear more.

UPDATE: Seriously? Americans are being denied their legally-mandated right to comment on a matter of vital imnportance involving their rights, and the best the bureaucrats at the Federal Register can offer is it's not their job?

I wonder how Donald Trump would react to one of his hotel guests asking staff for extra towels and being told to go find a maid…?

UPDATE– I have changed the url on theabove comment submission link. Per colleague Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger:

The proposed rule can now be found here:

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ATF-2018-0002-0001

That's nice. Except…

Scroll down. New docket number. Comment count is zero (as of this writing).

Related Dockets: None
Related RINs: None
Related Documents: None

That means this is not tied to the previous notice with existing
comments, and those hundreds of comments that were made before are GONE.

Inquiries to the ATF, DOJ, Federal Register, and various
congresscritters have gone unanswered. An automated response from the
ATF reads, “It is the goal of FIPB to respond to requests from firearms
industry members and the general public within 120 days of receipt.”

Nice trick. If comments aren't going your way, kill the proposal,
reissue it without telling anyone, and do over until you get the results
you want to justify violating human/civil rights.

I have two comment receipts now, so I can check if the first is
permanently evaporated, or if they'll… restore it.

That's unacceptable.  It's also a cinch we won't get anything resolved on a Friday evening.  If needed, I'll follow up on Monday and see if we can get an accounting of comments submitted prior to the snafu.

4/2 UPDATE: Here's a summary of what appears to have happened. Please join me in pressing House Oversight to make sure this is looked into and that all comments are accounted for.


About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 36 thoughts on “Second Amendment Advocates Should Reject DOJ ‘Bump Stock’ Infringement

    1. When all is said and done, it will fall upon us to do our homework and figure out just who and what WE are in relation to the corporation we call a “government”. WE are men and women, and therefore NOT the creatures “of” (meaning proceeding from, belonging to, made by) the corporation called the United States. It is a legal fiction, we are not. It has no power that men did not give it. And that power extends ONLY to those who are subject to its jurisdiction – which men are not. ONLY the legislature’s defined members, that class of people called “citizens” in the 14th amendment (and referred to as “persons”) are subject to Congressional mandate.

      And the BATF is not even an agency or bureau of the US, either. It’s a PRIVATE CORPORATION contracting with the Internal Revenue Service, which itself is also a private corporation contracting with the “Department of the Treasury”, as is indicated on their logo. But WHAT “Department of the Treasury”? This does NOT refer to the United Sates’ Treasury – it refers to the FEDERAL RESERVE, and NOT the United States.

      They have NO jurisdiction over us out in the States at all. Do the research. Start with The Informer (the late Harry Coombs) and James Montgomery’s research that was on the old defunct website atgpress (still available at archive.org) and the interviews with them on YT channel Vyzygoth.

      One more thing – if anybody’s wondering how the end of net neutrality is going to affect us, I note that as soon as I landed on this site, my connection slowed to a crawl. While I was writing the above, I couldn’t even open a new tab on any other website to check spelling or verify the YT channel’s name I referred to above. When I typed in my email address, I noticed the box popup “Verifying email address”, which I assumed it did every time before, but it had never taken so long that it actually appeared – and it stayed up for over a minute. What I had to do was disconnect, then reconnect (thereby being assigned a different temporary IP address) and quickly submitted the comment, as it wasn’t going through at all before. Then I scrolled down to see if it took the comment – and it’s gone. These sites are being monitored AND FILTERED by whoever (three letter boys, military) and so expect this and other sites to slow to a crawl now that the regulatory agencies are allowed to throttle (or even block) the ones they don’t like.

    2. I think bump stocks are beyond stupid and in the rusty shackleford category, but the AG cannot simply ban them. He does not have that power and neither does the president. Trump needs to worry about stopping illegal immigration and ending the wars in the mid east – what he was elected to do – and shut up about bump stocks. And no,bump stocks were not used in vegas. Those were belt fed guns no matter what the fbi or sberiff dept claim in their heavily redacted and secretive investigation.

    3. It’s completely unconstitutional. What POTUS45 is attempting to do is create a new law. Except he’s executive branch, not legislative. The US Constitution DOES NOT give him the authority to create or amend US law. The definition of a fully-automatic weapon was established by a duly-seated legislative body in 1934. And BATFE’s technical team has looked at the question — TWICE — and each time reached the conclusion that the 1934 NFA DOES NOT give them the authority to conflate bump-fire stocks with fully-automatic weapons. So clearly what POTUS45 is asking of them IS NOT contained in the legislation that the US Congress has charged the BATFE to enforce.

      So now POTUS45 expects BATFE to craft a new category consisting of devices that support “simulated” fully-automatic fire. Except that same principle also could be applied to light-weight bolt carrier groups, adjustable gas blocks, binary triggers, …even de-greasing the recoil buffer spring, because all of these potentially could increase the weapon’s rate of fire.

      But what is most dangerous about this is that it gives POTUS46 carte blanche to build on that principle. The next president could just as easily decide that removable box magazines in general also support simulated fully-automatic fire and so ban all magazines capable of holding more than …one round.

      The NRA obviously is asleep at the wheel on this, so if you’re a member of any pro-gun group that’s still RKBA (GOA, USCCW, Jews for Guns, Pink Pistols, etc), contact them and get them fired up to gird their loins for battle and take this to SCOTUS if need be.

    4. We all need to sue !!!! They will be coming for are semi autos this is written in a manner so they can do that next or even charge you with a crime if you use your belt loop to bump fire a gun……………….

    5. I agree that Sessions is worthless in this job, he is old school swamp creature. HOWEVER, Trump ordered him to outlaw bump stocks and Trump didn’t seem very knowledgeable about the operation of the item. Someone got his attention and fed him a bunch.

      1. @Tcat, Yep, Sessions needs to go. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I was wrong. Sessions is refusing to appoint another special council. Sessions should have appointed a special council for hillary, one for the FBI, one for the Clinton foundation, and two for Mueller.

    6. It seems to me that 18 U.S. Code § 242 would apply to any federal officer attempting to enforce this regulation, or for that matter to Jeff Sessions himself. This includes individual jail time for such officers. A law that is not legally promulgated is no law and must not be obeyed. Sessions will not arrest California officials violating federal immigration laws but is now willing to create over half a million felons (ATF estimates of bump stocks sold) out of thin air with this regulation? Time to bring this home to them individually. Perhaps with the looming GOA lawsuit we might have the opening to roll back the 1934 and 1968 acts.

    7. I already submitted my opinion but wanted to mention a few things here.

      First,
      Whatever happened to Ex Post Facto?
      BATFE determined multiple times that these devices are not machine guns and possess no parts that fall under that definition. That allowed a business to form legally that sold these devices legally, that citizens bought legally, and used legally. They are violating more than just the 2nd amendment by making criminals out of citizens who acted under legal authority when they bought these devices.
      Second,
      If they’re going to grant BATFE powers only enumerated to Congress then BATFE should have to stand by its original ruling which states these are legal to own.
      Third,
      If they move forward and violate your rights by deeming these items as machine guns then they should allow a registration period for all those who bought them before the determination- just like in 86′. They have no right to make you a criminal for possessing something that they themselves approved for creation, sale, purchase, and possession.
      Just like before an open registration is needed because they violate Ex Post Facto if they don’t. Not only do they violate your rights but they’re also committing theft of your property by forcing you to destroy or turn in an item that you bought legally.
      Fourth,
      Are we living in the movie Minority Report?
      Their rule states that due to all of the media publicity about the bump stock that criminals and terrorists are now more aware of the devices and it’s necessary to ban them for public safety
      IN OTHER WORDS, TO FIGHT FUTURE CRIMES- seriously?
      This reads to me as, we have to take these away from all of you who bought them legally from a manufacturer who was granted permission from BATFE ( several times ) to create the device, who’ve never used the item to commit the crime, because we’re pretty certain that some criminal or terrorists ( who don’t obey laws by their very nature and title ) will eventually use one at some point to commit a crime- that they’ll most likely commit anyway.
      One reported case, although huge, and an item that hasn’t previously been mentioned in a crime statistic will be used to further erode your rights as a citizen.

      Let’s not forget that their explanation about the BATFE letters allowing the bump stock to be sold was- it was a mistake- really? Which time?

      I wish we could make mistakes and change the rules to suit our whims as easily as they do, it’d sure take the teeth out of the IRS if we could.

      1. All the various levels of government are ignoring the Constitution. Bureaucrats ignore the Hatch Act, and weaponize their agency. Illegal aliens enter without permission. The Pope is ignoring scripture. Kids ignore rules requiring attendance to go march somewhere. Criminals have always been big on ignoring laws. Is no one doing the right thing anymore?

      2. you said this RIGHT ON, and is the truth.
        ane also CONGRESS HAS NO ENUMERATED POWERS TO DISARM WE THE PEOPLE OR PASS EX POST FACTO LAWS EITHER.
        AND NEITHER DOES THE DAMN SUPREME COURT OR TRUMP OR SESSIONS.
        and WE THE PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO OBEY THESE LAWBREAKERS EITHER.
        i feel a FIGHT is just down the road, if WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE GUTS AND COURAGE TO STAND UP?
        we will SEE? because we are dealing with a LAWLESS CORRUPTED CRIMINAL AND TREASONOUS ENTERPRISE CALLED GOVT.

    8. There is no place for Bump stock. You can’t hunt with it. It can be dangerous and can cause a failure of the rifle. Unless you have fantasies that you are Rambo, you don’t see the appeal in this gimmick. I have no doubt at all that it makes a gun fire very close to the same rate of fire as many full auto military weapons. Its just gives many anti gun people another excuse to dump on lawful gun owners. As a person who is a combat vet, and spent 4 decades in the criminals justice system and almost two decades as a firearms instructor, I have “been there and done that” for real more times than I care to count. Bottom line, our country would be better off without Bump stocks or the really stupid trigger cranks. Also guns need to NOT be referred to as assault weapons when you can’t find any politicians who can explain what exactly that means. About 5 times more people are murdered in the US by knives than by rifles yet I don’t see anyone wanting to take knives away from anyone. A few states have even passed laws making switch blades lawful to possess. The NRA needs to get on the right track again. Back the ban on Bump Stocks. Stop fighting background checks and start doing more training and less trying to convince everyone that an extremely violent criminal awaits just around each corner and we all need machine guns, bayonets, double edge neck knives and to learn Squad Assault training just to get to the grocery store for milk. No wonder the NRA is going down fast and hard.

      1. “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

      2. @ ft

        “There is no place for Bump stock. You can’t hunt with it. It can be dangerous and can cause a failure of the rifle.”

        2 nd. amendment

        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

        I fail to see/read a thing in the second amendment regarding hunting,it enumerates the People to self defense .it lets we the people the option of choice,Liberty I know in todays world is a foreign concept to many.

      3. “There is no place for Bump stock.” OK; so, for the sake of discussion, let’s suppose that there IS a consensus among gun owners (a knowledgeable sub-set of the body politic) that this IS so. What should we make of any such consensus? That it is a political decision that can be made by a simple majority of voters without a formal change to either the law or the Constitution? Ought we not entertain the possibility – however remote – that this artifact which appears to be useful merely for amusement or possibly some sport could have a legitimate military application? In 1774 it was widely accepted that a “rifle” was not suitable for military purposes. It took too long to reload. No one cared which – of numerous – enemy soldiers one’s ball hit. What mattered is that one could re-load rapidly and fix a bayonet for the final charge. It was only during the long march from Concord to Boston that Americans first awoke to the possibility that a rifle was more than a deer hunter’s tool; it had a useful military application; viz. shooting British officers from their mounted perches at great distances. What if there might really be a useful military purpose for a bump-stock which won’t be discovered for years?

        In the NFA’34 the “silencer” was – for all practical purposes – banned by a $200 excise tax. An artifact with a manufacturing cost of perhaps $2 – $4 at the time had a tax of 100 or 50 times it’s value imposed upon it. Why? We don’t really know. There is no hint in the Congressional debate as to why anyone cared. It wasn’t for many decades that ENTs discovered how devastating loud noises are to a human’s hearing. So, today, we have an excise tax of about 100% on a hearing protection device. Moreover, it takes almost a year for the paperwork to pay the tax!

      4. @ft… I realize that you have no problem with misusing the First Amendment, so it Isn’t surprising that you would not have the intellect to comprehend the Second Amendment. A well regulated (“regulated” understood in those times to equate with “equipped” in today’s language) militia ( meaning ALL Americans) being necessary for the national defense (meaning you’d better be armed at least as good as those trying to invade and kill you) the right of the people (Rights defined by Thomas Jefferson as those given by our Creator, NOT government) to keep (yes, keep means KEEP) and bear arms (yes, and also use) shall not be infringed… (Infringed…. Look that up, they chose that word for its unmistakeable meaning…. And it is the last word! I didn’t seem to notice the word “need” in there. I might guess because the founding fathers didn’t think anyone could be that asinine in an assuming that “their” preferences overrode “someone” else’s Rights? Just sayin’……

      5. Silly Troll What did you do in the “criminals” justice system for four decades ? Just couldn’t make it through your rant with out letting the troll out of the bag .

      6. Jerry Miculek fires a semi auto AR faster than full auto – so what does he turn himself in? Or destroy himself?
        @ft – you are a troll

      7. ft: “Bottom line, our country would be better off without Bump stocks or the really stupid trigger cranks.”

        If this were a move to specifically ban bump-fire stocks or trigger cranks on product safety grounds (unstable, inaccurate, etc.) you’d see a lot less opposition to it. But if you read the language of the NPRM (and every submitted bill I’ve tracked down so far), that isn’t what is being addressed. It is clearly and explicitly a “problem” of “rate of fire,” in that these devices — training wheels — assist the shooter in merely approaching the SEMIAUTO firearm’s theoretical rate of fire.

        The NC sheriff candidate who was criticized for his “cold, dead hands” remark, stated earlier in that meeting that he wants to ban ANYTHING that allows any firearm to “fire in rapid succession.” That’s what this proposed rule allows, too.

        In short, this is a camouflaged ban on semiautomatic firearms.

        Doubt it? Read the NPRM language, and ask yourself how “President Hillary CLinton” would read and apply the rule.

        1. @ Carl “Bear” Bussjaeger – Amazing I never knew you could ban a firearm for something that made it inaccurate!
          As to the sheriff, he said exactly what he meant, he just wanted a little CYA later!

          1. Didn’t say you could (though you might look at the lawsuits attempting to get around PLCA alleging the manufacture of firearms inherently unsafe in civilians hands, or bans on other products determined to be “unsafe” like lawn darts). I merely said if this had been done in the name of “product safety,” more folks who didn’t give a damn about bump-fire would have ignored it.

            As for the sheriff candidate, my reaction to reports of his “joke” was, “Who said he was joking? He just didn’t realize anyone else would hear it.”

    9. I just clicked on https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/03/29/2018-06292/bump-stock-type-devices#open-comment and got a pop up that says comment period has closed.

      Be assured this is not about ARs only but can be used to eliminate all semi auto weapons ever made. All the ATF has to do is manufacture something that will work on others and they will be illegal as well or insert a stick in trigger guard properly get get the same results. Guess they gotta shut down Home Depot for selling wood as well?

      Case in point, patents were applied for and granted by US Cov’t and production started now the Gov’t says they are illegal because a Muslim millionaire bought it and used it to shoot a bunch of folks. If that millionaire had made a bomb, put it in a big truck, set it off and killed the same number of people would they pass a law against trucks?

    10. Keep voting them out.Get on the nra , threaten to withdraw,might bring them back in line,if not with drawl.

      1. Wrote the entire board 2 months ago,not a one replied,Crickets !

        I am the NRA or rather supposed to be but Not One More Penny !

        1. Ditto!!! If you read through the ‘Gun Rights’ news. You’ll see that some have made postings here that are entirely contrary to previous statements made recently by themselves. They have backed and supported the Dump’s, the NRA and NSSF position on the ERPO’s and the ‘Bump Stock/Accessory ban issues but here they’re going along to get along. I guess you could call them dishonorable POS which is worse than being a troll.
          Know your history and know it well! It’s not ALL about guns. It’s a further step of subversion of our U.S.
          Wealth and power does not make you a genius. Just look at Prince Charles.

    11. And once again, the NRA throws owners of the black guns under the bus. We’ve witnessed this NRA bias towards burled walnut before, with the 1986 Machine Gun ban and the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban. Fool me once NRA, Shame on You. Fool me twice NRA, shame on me.

    12. I don’t want or like the bumpstock, but the liberals have shown their cards and it’s time to draw the line in the sand!

      1. Once you understand how a bump stock works you really don’t need one. I can do the same thing w/o the bump stock. I don’t agree that they are machine guns and shouldn’t be ban just because one Wacko motherf$&ker “used” (sounded like a 240B to me not a bump stock) them to commit a crime.

    13. “These are non-negotiable terms of surrender, dictated by a “pro-gun” president, a “pro-gun” attorney general”

      Yeah right,different side of the same corrupt coin and don’t even get me started on Negotiating Rights Away since 1934.

      1. @GMB: Go ahead! Say it and list them all. Many need a rehash from the past. There are many conservatives out there that do not know that they have been in fact contaminated by Marxism.
        If anyone here or elsewhere wants to surrender or relinquish ownership of their Bump Stocks before it’s prospective ban and/or ARs. Please be assured that I have a nice new happy home for them.

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